Rebel Marketing Explained: Ditching Shame, Bias, & Diet-Culture with Lauren Littlewood – Your Sparkly Brand Podcast


Calling all rebels! On this episode of Your Sparkly Brand, we’re discussing a game-changing topic on how to ditch shame and defeat the status quo bias in your marketing. 

Lauren Littlewood, our guest for today, takes us through what rebel marketing is, how it’s identified, and how to build a rebel brand. We also discuss how to work against bias in your marketing and how to make your rebel marketing inclusive.

Lauren is a former healthcare worker turned rebellious entrepreneur. She is a copywriter and marketing strategist for rebel brands and radical change makers and has a youtube channel where she shows entrepreneurs how to harness a rebel mindset for life and business.

Watch The Episode

Key Points For This Episode

  • Meet Lauren Littlewood!
  • Meg’s sparkly moment of the week.
  • Lauren’s sparkly moment.
  • Lauren Littlewood’s sparkly moment.
  • Lauren’s business-building journey.
  • Rebel marketing and ways to identify a rebel brand.
  • Tips on how to become a rebel brand.
  • Shame in marketing.
  • How to work against bias and embrace inclusivity in rebel marketing.
  • Tips for our listeners who want to challenge the status quo in their rebel marketing but who are feeling some resistance.
  • Brands, people and thought leaders who are doing an awesome job at rebel marketing.
  • An upleveling action Lauren took to hit the next level in her business.
  • Lauren’s upcoming project.
  • Where to find Lauren online…

Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave us a 5-star rating! Ratings & reviews will help this podcast grow so we can make the world a little more Sparkly!


Megan Gersch: Hello and welcome to Your Sparkly Brand, the podcast for badass game-changing business owners who aren’t afraid to sparkle and stand out. Here we’re all about fighting the status quo, marketing and branding so that you can reach more people and make more money, coaches, creatives, and thought leaders.

Here you’ll discover how to become magnetic AF so that you can build and scale a sparkly empire. I’m Megan Gersch, your brand designer and web designer, and I’m here with my co-host the magnetic messaging Queen Lauren Tassi. Hey Lauren. How are you?

Lauren Tassi: Hi, Megan. I’m great. How are you?

Megan: Good.

Lauren Tassi: Good. Well, I’m so excited to introduce you to our guest today. We have another Lauren. Story of my Life, right? Everybody’s a Lauren. Lauren Littlewood. She is a former healthcare worker, turned a rebellious entrepreneur. She’s a copywriter and rebel marketing strategist for Rebel Brands and Radical Changemakers, and she has a YouTube channel where she shows entrepreneurs how to harness a rebel mindset for life and for business.

Welcome to Your Sparkly Brand, Lauren.

Lauren Littlewood: Hi, how are you?

Lauren Tassi: Awesome. So glad to have you here.

Lauren Littlewood: Thanks. So excited to be here.

Lauren Tassi: Awesome. Okay, so before we jump into your story, we like to start each episode with our sparkly moment of the week. It’s like a little win or a little celebration, something that makes you feel sparkly.

So Meg, what was your sparkly moment?

Megan: So this week I’m actually taking off to Richmond, Virginia. I’m actually going to meet some, mastermind folks that I’ve been chatting with for almost a year, and I get to meet them in person this coming week. And so I’m just pretty excited about that. I’ve been like prepping for it and, getting ready for that trip.

So yeah, it’s making me feel a little sparkly.

Lauren Tassi: Awesome. What about. So I’ve been talking to a lot of clients, like, well, not necessarily clients, but ideal clients, prospective clients. I’ve really been doing a lot of calls over the past couple weeks, and it’s like, even though at times it can feel frustrating because it’s like, okay, well that’s not a deal, or it’s not ideal yet.

Just like realizing that I, I even just like talking to people even if they’re not buying from me yet. So that, that feels. Yeah. I love that.

Megan: Yeah. And you never know. You never know who is like, you know, prospects can come out of nowhere.

Lauren Tassi: It’s a long game. For sure, for sure.

Megan: And Lauren, do you have one that you wanna share?

Lauren Littlewood: I do, I had a little change in my living situation this past weekend and now I have this big, beautiful office and it’s so nice to like, have a huge designated space for just like, I have a giant bookcase with all of my books and a, my beautiful desk and a reading chair, and it’s just so exciting.

after years of working in a very small space it’s just fantastic. So that’s my big sparkly.

Lauren Tassi: Oh, congratulations. Thanks. Alright, so let’s get into it. Lauren, why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about your journey.

Lauren Littlewood: Yeah. So working in healthcare I always wanted to help people and make a difference in the world. I always felt like that was my mission in life. And my dad was a physical therapist assistant and I saw how he changed so many people’s lives, and so I’m like, okay, yeah, let me go into that.

So I went into physical therapy and. in working there in physical therapy, I realized that the industry is so just not set up for helping people and for making the world a better place. And so my, highly sensitive self just couldn’t handle watching all of this stuff happen to people and patients that I loved.

And so I got out of that industry. I’m like, okay, I have to find something else. I have to find something, you know. We’ll make a difference. And then on a personal note, I also wanted to find something that I had like autonomy over my own life. I always felt like in healthcare, I had to ask permission.

There were always days blocked off. Oh, nope, you can’t have a holiday during this time period. You know, we had blackout dates like Disney and, I wanted to be able to take time off with my son. I’m a single parent. And, if he was sick one day, I couldn’t just like bring a sick kid to a nursing home.

You know what I mean? So I’m like, I wanted to have autonomy over my life and so I started searching about things that I could do from home. And I had always wanted to be a writer and so I ended up finding copywriting and I’m like, Hey, I have all this background in, healthcare and in yoga. I was a yoga instructor for a while.

I was a holistic health coach for a while. So I’m like, ah, I am like built for this health and wellness copywriter. So that’s when I started copywriting in health and wellness and that’s how I got here.

Megan: I love that. And so I know that you talk a bunch about rebel marketing. So like, what does that mean?

In terms of like, what do you mean by, rebel marketing? How do you identify as a rebel brand?

Lauren Littlewood: When I was working in health and wellness copywriting, I started working with these brands that were doing things differently and who wanted to improve their, their languaging, like say take out the diet culture in their supplement brand, or I worked with a contraceptive brand that wanted to improve gender inclusivity and discuss more about trans rights people with uteruses or you know, who menstruate of all genders.

And that was just like so impactful to me. And I remember feeling just like, oh my God, this is making a difference. And so then I was looking something up. I was just listening to something and it talked about what a rebel is. And a rebel is defined as somebody who.

Rises in resistance against a norm or established rule. And then I realized these brands that I had worked with, that’s exactly what they were doing. They were resisting diet culture. They were improving or avoiding, excluding people, in their message. I’m like, that’s what I wanna do. That’s what, that’s it.

That’s, that’s the, the, the thing that wasn’t quite fitting was the rebel part. And so that’s when I started looking for companies that were value aligned instead of honing down into that specific niche of health and wellness, I threw that out the window and I’m like, no, I’m finding value-aligned companies that want to change the status quo and want to make the world a better place.

So anyone who aligns with that.

Lauren Tassi: I love that. so like, let’s say this is resonating, like how do we do this? Maybe we’re not, you know, totally inclusive yet, or, you know, do you have like, a process, some tips you can give us? How do we become a, a rebel brand?

Lauren Littlewood: Yeah. I think it starts. First inside it starts, with personal values.

So if you have an entrepreneur who has a wellness brand, for example, who wants to take out that diet culture, they would first search internally, I feel like, starting with the owners, starting with the actual people in the company, doing that internal work and identifying, Where that may be seeping into your brain because we do a lot of things that are completely absent-minded.

And so doing that internal work to address the diet culture within yourself, and then working at changing your branding and your messaging and then evolving that. So I say work from the inside out.

Megan: I find it really interesting too because like I feel like we probably speak to a similar type of person and one of the things that I’ve heard from people so much is like they have trouble finding like a mentor people that they can work with, that they really align with in that way.

A lot of the folks that I have, Talk to have said like, been afraid to kind of like really step into like who I truly am because there’s all of this noise that all of this other chatter around like, you have to fit into this boring beige box, right?

Like you have to do, this is the way that you have to do business. And so I think it’s really valuable what you’re doing and like. , this idea of like a rebellious brand, a re rebellious mindset is so powerful because it kind of goes against everything else that is out there?

Lauren Littlewood: right? Which helps you stand out and become more of a unique brand, right? So, you stand out in your authentic self and you attract people who align with your authentic self, and therefore they become your biggest fans and, ideal customers.

Lauren Tassi: Absolutely sounds like what we say every episode.

Megan: So let’s talk a little bit about shame in marketing. So what does that look like and how does it show up?

Lauren Littlewood: I think shame in marketing is like you were talking about a few podcast episodes ago about the bro marketing and it just is so rooted in making customers feel fear and shitty about themselves or their circumstances.

I saw a commercial recently. It was for a diet pill diet or diet pill, I don’t know. And it was talking about losing weight. Like, oh, you can go on that vacation. I’m so this person is now feeling like garbage about themselves and that, and then you’re telling them that they cannot live their life to the fullest because of their size.

And that was like, okay, that is shame marketing to me a hundred percent. Where. that person, like you’re making people feel like they can’t express themselves, they can’t feel sexy, they can’t go on vacation, they can’t be in a bathing suit just because of this thing that literally does not matter. And. You know, versus companies that would go on the opposite side, right?

And so say you have a nutrition coach and they’re then talking about healing your relationship with your food. They’re not talking about weight loss. There’s no fatphobia in it. They’re talking about healing the relationship with food or recovering from diet, culture mentality and actually like creating balance and creating a wholehearted, nutritional, abundant life and not restricting you.

They’re not putting you in that box. And I think with shame-based marketing, they like to put people and make people feel as small as possible and manipulate them into buying. It’s very narcissistic. And then changing it to being more value aligned and more, giving and value-based, I think is gonna make all the difference in the world.

Lauren Tassi: I think you know, we’re both copywriters. We come from the same school of copywriting, and I think that like, You get it too when you’re talking to clients. It’s just people. I think copywriters have gotten a bad rap for so long because it’s a technique that does sell, right? It moves products you can make people feel bad, make them feel like they have, you know, scarcity, like their life is lacking without this one thing that’ll solve all their problems.

But there are other ways to sell too. And that’s, that’s, you know, something I talk about every day and it’s just you know, I’m, we need everyone out there to spread this message that like, shame is not the only motivator when it comes to getting people to buy something.

Lauren Littlewood: Yeah, and talking to their true pain points, you know, understanding your audience, because I feel like a lot of these companies, they don’t actually spend the time to understand their audience and what their audience is really suffering from speaking to that and using empathy to connect with them in an authentic way versus using shame and narcissistic manipulation.

Lauren Tassi: Yeah, it’s the reason all those, like old sales letters feel so terrible to us today because they don’t resonate anymore. It’s just like, it’s, it’s, it’s like a fax machine or something. in terms of technology.

Lauren Littlewood: Yes. I cannot handle, some of that old copy. It just is so cringey and you know, they say, Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

And I’m like trying to learn all the rules. I’m like, I can’t. It hurts.

Lauren Tassi: So you mentioned Embi as like obviously a great way to sort of like an anti-shame tactic. Is there anything else that we can, you know, utilize to work against bias and embrace inclusivity in our market?

Lauren Littlewood: other than working, internally on understanding these things because, you know, things like anti-racism and fatphobia and gender inclusivity, it’s so ingrained in our culture to not be these things it takes a lot of work to really.

Understand it for yourself. Once you fully understand it, and hopefully you can have a team that can fully understand it, then you can start translating outwards. And I think also having a, a clear idea of what your brand is and who your brand is. I like to ask my clients, if your brand was a person, what would they be like?

And really get into the nitty-gritty of like, what this imaginary person. cares about what are their values, what are their likes and dislikes? How do they speak? You know, are they like that really cool aunt that cusses and breath smells like wine? Like, you know, what are, what are they like? And that gives, I think, the client a little bit of a clearer picture of who their brand is and then aligning.

that with their customer, understanding your audience, having a clear idea of what is truly valuable to them, what they truly need and align each, if that makes sense.

Megan: Totally. Any other tips that you can give our listeners who want to really challenge that status quo and their branding and their marketing, but they might be feeling a little bit afraid to stand out or they might be feeling that hesitation and that resistance?

Lauren Littlewood: Yes. I think everybody who is an entrepreneur has a business needs to look at what your big why. Because on the surface, for example, like take me for example, on the surface, I’m like, yeah, I want the freedom. I want the money, I want, you know, the flexibility. I wanna be able to like do copy in Italy while I’m on vacation if I want to.

I want all this freedom, right? But what’s the deeper why? The deeper why is because I want to eradicate diet culture in copy. I want to be a thought leader when it comes to breaking the norms in marketing because I myself have been a victim of. Shame-based marketing that got in my head and fucked me up for a really long time.

I had a needing disorder for a really long time and you know, I wanna change that, and that’s my deeper why. And so understanding what your deeper why is helps you to have that extra oomph. Like, no, this is what I made for, this is what I stand for. And helps you deal with those trolls that like to, you know, bully you online and things like that.

And keeps you grounded and rooted in your purpose.

Lauren Tassi: What are, if you don’t mind sharing, like, and I know this question was sort of hard to like pull out at the top of your head, but like, are there some brands, some people, some thought leaders, like who out there is like doing an awesome job at this rebel marketing?

Lauren Littlewood: Tori Dunlap, I think is a great example.

She has the Financial Feminist podcast, her company, HerFirst100K and stuff like that, and I just freaking adore her. I love how honest and relatable. She is. I love how she speaks on, systems of oppression and she speaks on this like, bro, industry of finance and how exclusive it is for just like essentially your. , you know, white man and leaves out a lot of people who have other obstacles and that type of branding or like Savage Xi Rihanna’s brand, she’s like took a industry that essentially had everybody as a thin white woman. And she’s like, nah, lingerie is for everybody and everybody’s gonna be shown.

Everybody wears lingerie. You know, it should be shown on all the bodies that it will be purchased for, you know, so those brands right there always give me like a little bit of inspiration and a little bit of like, fuck yeah. Because they’re doing the work to like, take things down. And like Rihanna for example, she freaking completely changed the lingerie industry with her line.

And now you see Victoria’s Secret having thicker models or like models who have different gender expressions and, and things like that. So, you know, it’s those companies who aren’t afraid to be bold.

Megan: Yeah. I mean, first of all, I freaking loved Tori also, and then, I gotta say, the first time that I ever saw Savage Fenty, I was like, what the hell is this?

Like, this is amazing to see just like something different. So I’m really glad that you touched on those two.

Lauren Littlewood: Oh yeah, I saw that for the first time. I’m like, snaps in gay. Like, yes, let’s go

Lauren Tassi: Alright, so let’s take a trip back in time, right? When you were on the verge of up-leveling your business, what’s an action that you took to really hit that next level?

Lauren Littlewood: Hmm.

I think determining that I needed to value align my business because, as a highly sensitive person. Having companies who didn’t treat their employees well, having companies that perpetuated things that I don’t believe in, and rationalizing that away. Just because, oh, it’s a paycheck and I need it, and, you know, it just makes you feel and I had an aha moment when I read the book.

What’s it called? You Were Born For This by Channey Nicholas. It’s an astrology book and I’m reading the book and I realized that like in my birth chart, it’s so aligned with this and so like that was my aha moment of like, this is my purpose. This is it, and this is what I’m meant to be doing.

I’m meant to uplift the voices of people who are gonna help to change this world and the culture that we’re living in.

Megan: I love that. Are there any upcoming projects that you are working on right now that you can talk about that you’re excited about?

Lauren Littlewood: I am working on a YouTube channel. I have one video up at the moment, and after some technical difficulties, I should be getting another one up very soon.

But yeah, my channel is the Rebel Mind and it’s just talking about, all sorts of rebellious mindset things, whether personal or marketing related or business-related. Just getting that message out there that this is where things are going and this is what needs to happen and here’s how to do it.

That’s awesome.

Lauren Tassi: where else can people find you online? If they wanna connect

Lauren Littlewood: on Instagram, it’s @littlewoodcopy and my website is

Lauren Tassi: Awesome. We’ll put links to all that in the show notes. Lauren, thank you so much for joining us today. It was so great to hear your perspective on rebel marketing and all of this.

It’s like, I feel like this is, you know, this is what we’re here to say.

Lauren Littlewood: Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

Lauren Tassi: We’re so glad to have you here, and thank you so much to our listeners for listening. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review. Until next time, stay sparkly.

About The Your Sparkly Brand Podcast

Your Sparkly Brand is a podcast for badass, game-changing business owners who aren’t afraid to sparkle and stand out from competitors. We’re all about fighting the status quo in marketing and branding so you can reach more people and make more money. Coaches, creatives, and thought leaders —  here you’ll discover how to become magnetic AF so you can build and scale a Sparkly Empire. 

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